Travelling alone is great for many reasons. The first one kicks in really early on your trip. It could even be on the plane towards your destination or, more usually, in the first place you stay. This applies, of course, to backpacking experiences. You get to the hostel –don’t try ‘boring’ hotels for socialising– and you realise that you’re by yourself.

Who’s sleeping over me? What language are those two speaking? When will I meet him or her? Wait, meet who? I’m talking about the one person that will be your first connection in your adventure. In Thailand, where I proved to myself that travelling alone is just fine, this moment arrived in a bar near Khao San Road during the second day of my trip. But now I’m talking about my current RTW adventure, so let’s get back to it.

It was on the second day again. She was wearing a NASA t-shirt and sat between two german girls and a dutch guy I met the day before. I thought she was with the girls, since she was german and Mitch, the dutch guy, told me she was travelling with them. He got his facts wrong, though.

It's always good to share your travels, specially when being a solo backpacker

As usual, everyone in the terrace of the hostel just chit-chatted a bit. “Where are you from? What’s your name? How long are you travelling for? What are you doing next? And blablabla. Don’t get me wrong, these conversations are good and necessary too. In a couple of days you might get to meet ten or more people, but only one will really stick with you for the rest of your travels.

Her

Freya, blonde curly hair and deep blue eyes. She’s the one first constant of my trip. It’s weird but I’m telling you the honest true. When I left for Malaysia, after two long days wandering around Singapore with her, I felt a bit sad. In only 48 hours I established a connection that I hope can remain for the rest of my life. And I don’t even know how it happened.

We just talked about everything and nothing, and kept talking for hours. In her I saw a perfect travel companion, although I knew we’d part ways really soon. Perfect strangers, we didn’t get bored even for a minute. Or if we did, we did so together. In one of those cravings of life, we realised that she was the answer to one of those first questions. “Where are you staying?” She was sleeping right over me. We laughed at it, of course.

It was really late when we all got introduced –that’s Freya, me and the rest of the hostel guests– more or less to ourselves, so we headed to bed. The next morning, Freya and I decided to go to the Muslim Quarter together. Then we got to Chinatown and one of its marvellous food courts. Nothing special really happened, yet we both knew without knowing. I was her first connection and she was mine at the same time, otherwise it wouldn’t work.

Me and Freya in the Gardens at the Bay

After parting ways on that first day, we spent the next 24 hours together doing nothing yet doing everything. That night, the one before saying goodbye, we had a lovely gathering with travellers from England, India, Germany and Kazakhstan –Kazakhstan, wow, I’d never expected that– and I remember just leaving her behind at some point in the night, immersed in another conversation. I was abducted by this Kazak guy and his stories. We were drinking beers kindly given to us by our English mate and sipping expensive whisky thanks to a couple of awesome Indian guys.

I looked up and she stared right back at me. It was very powerful. She smiled. I smiled. How wonderful it all was. And then I thought ‘I don’t really know her, but I can already see through her eyes’.

Freya and I share our experiences almost now on a daily basis, and she’s an important part of this trip that I’ve just started. Oh, and we will hopefully reunite in some remote, beautiful spot around Asia.

And why have I decided to talk about this? Well I don’t know, but I realized after meeting her that what happened with Raquel in Thailand just happened again here. Not sure if two times qualify, but this first connection thing is something you’ll only feel once you travel by yourself. It’s a wonderful feeling, so you should try.

This is the first post of Guille’s RTW travel journal, where he will share insight on backpacking and life whilst travelling around the world. You can follow his adventure in our magazine and his Instagram account.